A FORDINGBRIDGE resident has called for a rethink over parking provision in the town centre car park especially with more people working from home due to the pandemic.

Virginia Farrah, who uses Fordingbridge Car Park as there is no provision at her home, says parking has become a particular problem during the pandemic as she is working from home and needs 24 hour parking. Prior to this it had only been an issue during weekends. She said the parking clocks only allow parking for a maximum of 20 hours, which has been“impractical” and means she has had to constantly move her car. In addition to this, she says, the limited number of long stay spaces are often full leaving no choice but to park in short stay, which only allow three hours parking. She asked about having resident permits but said there needs to be some measures to help residents during the pandemic.

Speaking at a meeting of Fordingbridge Town Council on December 2, she said: “At the moment I have no parking provision and the car park is controlled with the parking clocks with a maximum of 20 hours which is impractical if you have got nowhere else to park particularly because it is a pandemic and we’re working from home. I want to see if it is possible to change it to get residents permits to be used in the car parks. It would allow residents to have indefinite parking and remove the issue I am currently experiencing.”

She said the car park was “not utilised efficiently” with the long stay car park “constantly full up” while the short stay was “rarely full”

She asked about reconfiguring the parking zones.

Councillor Edward Heron said: “We prioritise short stay spaces because our car parks are primarily intended to facilitate those coming to town for shopping and other short term uses.”

“I’m happy to have another look at options. Obviously we would rather have spaces used than empty,” he added.

He said the 20 hour limit was to stop “long term parking” and accepted the situation was different for residents due to Covid-19.

The meeting heard a business has also raised concerns about staff struggling to find long stay parking spaces. There was also concern over the lighting at the slip road car park.

Cllr Heron encouraged them to use the slip road car park but said he would flag up the lighting problem with the district council.